Salute our eventing heroes at Blenheim
THE three-star eventing calendar reaches a conclusion this weekend with the last major event at Blenheim Palace (September 6-9).
Spectators who missed out on tickets to see Team GB at the Olympics will have the chance to see their sporting heroes compete and parade at this weekend's Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
Four of the five silver medal-winning GB eventing team members – Zara Phillips, William Fox-Pitt, Nicola Wilson and Tina Cook – have entries at Blenheim, as do Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Jonelle Richards and Caroline Powell from Team NZ who took Olympic bronze.
Highworth's Paul Tapner and last year's title holder Piggy French will also compete.
As part of Blenheim's finale, members of the GB Team will be taking part in a parade in the main arena before the prizegiving (at approximately 4.15pm) on Sunday.
As part of the BEF's Equestrian Legacy Programme, some of the actual fences used at the Olympic Games will feature in the CIC3* 8-9-year-olds cross country course and in the training ground.
As well as the main CCI events, more than 600 amateur riders will compete in grassroots classes and activities at Blenheim including the Eventer Challenges and new Sunday Fun ride. In addition, some of the leading riders will be letting their hair down in two novelty events on Sunday – Blenheim's popular high jump and new bareback show jumping classes.
Admission starts from £12.50 on the gate; parking and children U12 go free.
WILTSHIRE-BASED eventer Andrew Nicholson confirmed his status as the world number one three-day eventer last weekend with a win at Burghley Horse Trials.
The 51-year-old from Marlborough took the four-star title from last year's winner William Fox-Pitt on the homebred Avebury to win his third Burghley title – 12 years on from his previous success.
USA's Sinead Halpin took second place and Fox-Pitt was third. Fox-Pitt may have failed to defend his Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials title, but he won the FEI Classic Series and left Lincolnshire £120,000 richer.
THE BRITISH Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has renewed its sponsorship of The Festival of British Eventing for 2013. The summer event held at Gatcombe Park, near Minchinhampton, will run from the August 2-4 next year.
This year's event was cancelled due to inclement weather, as was Badminton and a host of other events on the run-up to the Olympics.
Captain Mark Phillips, co-organiser and course designer at The Festival, said: "It is great news that BETA has agreed to continue their association for 2013. We were all disappointed with the cancellation in 2012 but we are confident that next year will be better than ever."
HARTPURY COLLEGE recently hosted the Pony Club Tetrathlon Championships (August 22-23).
Pony Club Tetrathlon incorporates the disciplines of running, cross country riding, shooting and swimming and provides a gateway for young people into Modern Pentathlon.
Taking first place in the Open Boys Championship Team competition was the VWH Hunt branch team of Rory (19) and Paddy Gilling (17), along with Oliver (18) and Greg Hall (16) on a score of 12,482.
The Intermediate Boys team also had a good competition in finishing second.
Meanwhile, George Screuder (17), from the Cotswold Vale Farmers Branch, won the Intermediate Boys Individual title on a score of 4,460.